The Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in Madrid

By Rhiannon Davies Published on 29th March 2008 .

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in MadridLocated almost right in the middle of Spain, the capital city of Madrid is home to an increasingly large number of expats who are lured by the employment prospects, the relatively affordable cost of living, the high standard of living and the cultural and social side of life in Madrid.

But there are disadvantages as well as advantages to living in this exciting city which we shall now discuss, so that would-be expats can make their own mind up about whether they want to move to live in Spain in Madrid.

On the positive side of things Madrid has an awful lot going for it…which is probably why almost a tenth of its population is made up of international citizens.  For one thing the cost of living in the city is far lower than the cost of living in other European capitals such as Paris or London.  The cost of dining out, public transport, clothing and entertainment is really rather affordable and makes living in Madrid a lot of fun!

On the negative side of the affordability question is real estate – Madrid currently has the highest property prices in Spain, and despite the local property market seeing something of a decline in its recent fortunes, property is still massively expensive to buy or rent.  Look closely at this issue before you decide to move to live and work in Spain as it could negate any perceived taxation, income or cost of living benefits of your proposed relocation.

On the plus side of living in Spain’s capital city is the standard and availability of quality educational and medical facilities.  There are international schools catering for British, American, German, French and even Irish pupils, and some of the international schools are highly acclaimed around the world.  On the healthcare front, Madrid is reputed to be home to some of the best facilities as well as professionals in the whole of Spain.  But, again there’s a downside to both education and healthcare in Madrid – and that’s cost!  Healthcare services in the city are among the highest cost across Spain and international schooling doesn’t come cheap either.

If you’re negotiating a relocation package, ask about including health insurance for the entire family and whether there is any chance you can have money towards your children’s education included as a benefit in kind.

If you’re looking for an exciting place to live then Madrid is certainly perfect for you!  There is more to do and see in Madrid that you will ever achieve even in an entire lifetime!  The city is home to everything from some of the world’s best museums and art galleries to a host of theatres, cinemas, leisure centres, exhibition halls, sport centres, parks and malls.  You will never run out of things to do in Madrid no matter what age you are and what takes your fancy on the leisure side of life!

The final disadvantages of living in Madrid to discuss are the climate and the noise – it can be incredibly, overwhelmingly hot and muggy in the summer and exceptionally cold in the winter in Madrid.  And, as one of the busiest, most population dense cities in Europe, Madrid has an incredibly high noise pollution level which can really grate after a while.  If this is a concern to you, consider choosing accommodation in one of the outer lying suburbs and commute to the office.

If you are thinking about living in Madrid, why not visit the city for a few weeks, get to know the suburbs, the best areas to live and work, what there is to do and see outside of work and which employers are based in the city and likely to benefit from your services.  When you have formed a full picture of the city, then you can decide whether the advantages or disadvantages sway you.

Rhiannon Davies's photo

Rhiannon Davies

Rhiannon is the Publishing Director at Shelter Offshore. With extensive experience as a technical author, Rhiannon's expat life began in Frankfurt with Deutsche Bank. Later as a freelance writer she was able to realise her ambition of living in some of the World's most beautiful locations.

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